Is your business active on Instagram? Are you leveraging the platform to drive conversions and boost brand recognition? What does your Instagram marketing approach look like? If you’re not sure how to harness the power of the photo-based social media app, it’s time to start learning the in’s and out’s of Instagram.
Everyone is logging in to the massively popular social media platform, which is increasingly being used to market everything from beauty products to the latest movies, like People You May Know, a flick about the disconnect between our online lives and our real-life social capital. Instagram appeals to such a wide variety of users and entrepreneurs because it’s clean, simple, streamlined, and visual, and it can be a powerful tool for growing your business. If you’re ready to tap into a whole new market for your products and services, try incorporating these strategies into your Instagram marketing campaign:
- Sell a lifestyle. One of the fastest and most effective ways to gain success, visibility, and followers on Instagram is to showcase lifestyle photos and videos, highlighting your products and services without directly promoting or pitching them. Instead, you’re featuring how the products contribute to an overall lifestyle that appeals to your audience, inspiring and connecting your online community. Don’t focus on selling your audience on how amazing your product is; focus on selling them the related culture and experience. For example, backpacks may be a boring thing to sell on their own, but hiking in Europe is an adventure that appeals to just about anyone.
- Have a strong logo. Instagram is all about the visuals, so if you don’t have a strong, well-designed, professional logo to represent your brand, you’re already operating at a disadvantage. You don’t just want a good logo because it makes a positive first impression and reinforces your credibility; you also want a professional logo to use as a watermark on quality content so that if it goes viral, it can always be traced back to you. Business is all about earning and keeping customers’ trust, and a professional logo is the first step in establishing and generating that trust.
- Add a link to your IG profile. One of the few downsides to marketing on Instagram is that you can’t drop live links in the captions of your photos. In fact, the only place you can link a URL is in your profile, so make sure you have something for followers to click on when they check you out. This could be a link to a blog page, Facebook page, custom landing site, lead generation page, or even an ecommerce site, and you can change the link in your profile as often as you’d like.
- You have to hashtag. If you don’t understand how hashtags work to connect content on the internet, it can seem like some silly fad the kids are doing and not something a professional organization needs to worry about. But using hashtags on Instagram is absolutely critical, since it’s the way people can find you, view your content, and learn about your brand — even if they’ve never heard mention of you before. You can find out which hashtags are trending in your industry or among your target demographics to maximize their impact and appeal to the right customers for your brand.
- Be creative. Not only is Instagram a visual, photo-based social media platform, it also has a grid layout for your profile page that creates an additional layer of creative flexibility. Focus on taking high-quality, creative images and balancing them in an aesthetically pleasing grid format that will attract followers who click on your profile to check out your brand. A cohesive grid format and quality photo content will draw a wide audience to engage with your posts.
- Promote others. This may seem counterintuitive, since your goal is to promote your own brand (and that can be more than enough work all on its own!). But Instagram is a community of influencers (people with huge followings) with the ability to bolster your brand with a single shoutout, and turnabout is fair play. If you help promote other brands and they help you out in return, you’ll both get access to a wider audience and gain new followers quickly.
All smart advertisers know that at it’s heart, marketing is really all about storytelling. This is why Instagram is such a powerful tool for building your brand; because of its unique image-based format, users are able to tell stories with a single photo and caption, a series of photo stories, or even an entire profile grid to share their brand culture and experience. With over 700 million users monthly on the platform, the potential impact you could have on Instagram is huge.
What is your favorite Instagram marketing trick? Share your tips in the comments!